Three youth groups across the island will receive funding for the renovation of three basic schools under the Volunteer Project Competition.
The 2018 staging of the competition, part of activities to mark Youth Month, was officially launched on Tuesday (November 13), on the grounds of Jamaica House Basic School in St. Andrew.
It involves the joint collaboration of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Early Childhood Commission (ECC) and HEART Trust/NTA.
The competition is open to all youth groups across the island, which are required to submit a two-minute video proposal highlighting an early-childhood institution that is in need of refurbishing and repairs. Videos can be submitted via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Submissions opened on November 8 and close on November 23. The works on the three schools selected will be undertaken on November 30.
Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Hon. Floyd Green, in his remarks at the launch, said that the project aims to promote a culture of volunteerism among young people.
“It is the epitome of what we want to do for Youth Month and the messages that we want to send. We are clear and sure that the competition will help us throughout Jamaica to get our young people to do better, get our communities to do better and our country to do better,” he noted.
He said the undertaking represents an investment in early childhood education. “It is tremendous, and we recognise that one of the things that is clear across Jamaica [and] across our education system, [is that] no level has a greater uptake than our early-childhood system. We have basically 100 per cent enrolment of our children in early-childhood institutions,” he pointed out.
ECC Chairman, Tricia Williams Singh, for her part, noted that the project will assist the basic schools selected in achieving the standards required for certification from the entity.
“The outcome of the children will improve, and that is substance,” she noted.
She called on youth groups to volunteer their services outside of the competition, to assist basic schools.
“I’m asking Jamaicans, I am asking more young people, select more schools. When you go into these institutions and you help to bring about the change… what do you think happens? [There will be a] better Jamaica and better communities,” she said.